I was “on the job” today at our commercial farm and encountered quite a number of species. The highlight was my first European Bee-Eaters of the season. They were flying overhead in a small flock and gorged themselves on a termite emergence from an onset of afternoon showers.
Blue Headed Heron
African Blue Flycatcher
African Paradise Flycatcher (orange)
Grey Crowned Crane
Double Toothed Barbet
Yellow Bishop (breeding)
Glossy Blue Starling
Red Winged Starlings
Northern Double Collared Sunbird
Blue Headed Heron
Cinnamon Chester Bee-Eater
Various Weaver Birds
Various Swallows (mosque and barn with a few others)
I’m sure there were more but that’s all I can recall after a long day at the office examining tilapia, bulls, sheep, bananas, vegetables, eucalyptus groves, and irrigation systems.
I first encountered this little owl at Lake Baringo, Kenya. It can be found throughout much of East Africa and is present in all five countries. Measuring in at only about 6.5 inches (including the tufts) it’s all too easy to walk right by roosting pairs. This individual’s partner was about 8 inches above it on another branch. The best way to locate these (and other owls) is to listen for the call very early in the morning. Once you’ve honed in on their location point your flashlight (torch) toward the ground so as not to scare or threaten them. If they fly off, you’ll be forced to start all over and listen for new calls. When you have a pretty good idea of their location head back to bed and return during morning light when the low sun allows for decent illumination rather then shadow.
The African scops owl’s camouflage is impeccable as well as they are usually brown and streaked with bits if grey. If you’re familiar with Australian birds think of the tawny frogmouth. This delightful owl species is certainly one of my favorites and if you find yourself is dry, semi-arid bush/woodland areas, don’t be surprised if you stumble upon one if you’re diligent enough to seek them out.
Download the call
*Call and map from xeno-canto.org